GUNNISON, Colo. – Just like every fisherman has a honey hole, every cowboy has a rodeo that is his sweet spot.
Cattlemen’s Days is that for Colorado steer wrestler Cody Pratt, who knocked down his steer in 4.1 seconds during Thursday’s first performance of Gunnison’s rodeo to take the early lead. Originally from Monte Vista, he now lives in Pueblo, and he enjoys crossing the passes to ensure his chance at the money available at the Fred Field Western Center.
“I remember coming to high school rodeos over here,” Pratt said. “It’s familiar. Gunnison … it’s one of those rodeos I’ve been pretty fortunate at over the years. My first year, I won it that year. I always enjoyed coming over here.
“It’s been a great rodeo, and they continue to increase the added money and take care of us.”
The combination of good money, great hospitality and the mountain setting are reasons why Cattlemen’s Days was nominated for the PRCA’s Medium Rodeo of the Year in 2022. There are plenty of people who believe it should be again.
Pratt, who finished second in the Mountain States Circuit standings last year, is 12th on the list this year. Every dollar he can earn in Gunnison County will benefit him greatly as he battles for the title in the region made up of rodeos and contestants primarily from Colorado and Wyoming. He took advantage of the steer he’d drawn.
“I knew he was a great steer,” said Pratt, who had visited with fellow bulldogger Riley Duvall to learn more about the animal. “Nick Guy let me get on his horse; it’s just a great horse, and it was a good go.”
The Colorado cowboy started competing in ProRodeo in 2011 and was building on his dream of being a world champion. As he aged, he built a business at home, Pratt Fabrication and Fence. He now focuses on that and competes regionally.
“I’ve rodeoed hard, and I had some success,” he said. “I had some things going on at home. I have my own business and work at it. If I get the right horse, I’d probably try it again.”
A cowboy must trust his horse. Pratt has some young ones he hopes to develop into good bulldogging mounts, but like a lot of steer wrestlers, he’s not afraid to get on someone else’s.
“I think it helps to be able to get on different horses to get along with them,” Pratt said. “I’ve rodeoed long enough that I’ve gotten on a lot of horses over the years.”
It paid off for him so far in Gunnison.
Bareback riding: 1. A.J. Ruth, on Hurst Rodeo’s Crazy Alice, and Mark Kreder, on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Hoppin Tom, 83 points; 3. Brazos Winters, 73.5; 4. Jarrod McKane, 73; 5. Tim Murphy, 71; no other qualified rides.
Steer wrestling: 1. Cody Pratt, 4.1 seconds; 2. Cody Mumma, 6.7; 3. Casey Collins, 7.0; 4. Andrew Galloway, 8.2; 5. Justin Barhite, 10.4; no other qualified runs.
Team roping: 1. Jay Tittel/T.J. Watts, 4.3 seconds; 2. Austin Crist/Jesse Jolly, 4.4; 3. Kyon Kreutzer, 4.9; 4. Eric Martin/Ryon Tittel, 5.2; 5. (tie) Jade Schmidt/Conner Herren and Cam Jensen/Tanner Whetham, 5.6; 7. Tanner Bryson/Tye Reddell, 5.9; 8. Kory Bramwell/Seth Hall, 6.2; 9. Jake Pancost/Manny Flores, 6.7; 10. Willow Wilson,T.W. Wilson, 6.9.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Kody Rinehart, 84.5 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Hammer Cocked; 2. Chris Williams, 83.5; 3. (Itie) Trent Burd and Cable James Wareham, 81.5; 5. Ean Price, 81; 6. Bryan Huey, 79; 7. Wade Stansfield, 77; 8. (tie) Cale Newman and Jack Skavdahl, 74.
Tie-down roping: 1. Zack Kirkpatrick 8.9 seconds; 2. Andrew Burks, 9.0; 3. Luke Meier, 9.6; 4. J.D. McCuistion, 10.1; 5. Ryan Belew, 10.9; 6. Stratton Kohr, 12.5; 7. Riley Pruitt, 13.2; 8. Darnell Johnson, 13.7.
Barrel racing: 1. Cindy Smith, 17.60 seconds; 2. Millie Marquart, 17.97; 3. Nicole Waggoner-Ludwick, 18.04; 4. Britta Strain, 18.05; 5. Jennifer Neudorf, 18.09; 6. Amanda Welsh, 18.28; 7. (tie) Andrea Busby, Kailee Murdock and Emery Mask, 18.29; 10. Rayne Grant, 18.31.
Bull riding: 1. Roscoe Jarboe, 86.5 points on United Pro Rodeo’s Top Gun; 2. (tie) Ernie Courson Jr. and Colt Rohrig, 80; no other qualified rides.